Curriculum Vitae

Education

Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, Marshall University School of Medicine, August 2009

M.S. Biological Sciences, Marshall University, May 2006

B.S. Biological Sciences, Marshall University, December 2002

Employment

2002-2003 Analytical Chemist, Microbiological Consultants, Huntington, WV
2009-2010 Research Scientist, Progenesis Technologies, Huntington, WV
2010-2014 Postdoctoral Fellow/Research Associate, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
2014-present Assistant Professor, School of Medicine at West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV

Publications

20.  M. Barbier, F. H. Damron. Rainbow vectors for broad-range bacterial fluorescence labeling. PLOSOne. In press

19.  Varga J., Barbier M., Mulet X, Bielecki P, Bartell J, Owings J, Martinez-Ramos I, Hittle L, Davis MR Jr, Damron F.H., Liechti G, Puchałka J, Dos Santos V, Ernst R, Papin J, Albertí S, Oliver A, Goldberg J. Genotypic and phenotypic analyses of a Pseudomonas aeruginosa chronic bronchiectasis isolate reveal differences from cystic fibrosis and laboratory strains. BMC Genomics 2015 Oct 30; 16(1):883 PMID 26519161

18.  Dai, H. Wei, C. Tian, F. H. Damron, J. Zhou, D. Qiu. An extracytoplasmic function sigma factor-dependent periplasmic glutathione peroxidase is involved in oxidative stress response of Shewanella oneidensis. BMC Microbiology 2015 Feb 18;15(1):34. doi: 10.1186/s12866-015-0357-0. 25887418

17.  M. Barbier*, F.H. Damron, P. Bielecki, M. Suárez-Diez, J. Puchałka, S. Albertí, V. dos Santos, J. B. Goldberg.  From the environment to the host: re-wiring of the transcriptome of Pseudomonas aeruginosa from 22°C to 37°C PLOS ONE in press Jan. 27 2014 * M.B. and F.H.D contributed equally to this publication.

16.  F.H. Damron* and M. Barbier* Predatory bacteria: Living Antibiotics, Biocontrol Agents, or Probiotics? Journal of Postdoctoral Research Dec. 2013 * M.B. and F.H.D contributed equally to this publication. Link to article – http://dx.doi.org/qnz

15.  M. Barbier* and F.H. Damron.* A Recipe for a Successful Postdoctoral Research Symposium. Journal of Postdoctoral Affairs Link to article * M.B. and F.H.D contributed equally to this publication

14.  Y. Yin, F. H. Damron, T. R. Withers, C. L. Pritchett, X. Wang, M. J. Schurr and H. D. Yu.  Expression of mucoid induction factor MucE is dependent upon the alternate sigma factor AlgU in Pseudomonas aeruginosa BMC Microbiology 13:232. PMID 24138584

13.  F. H. Damron, M. Barbier, E. S. McKenney, M. J. Schurr and J. B. Goldberg. Genes Required for and Effects of Inducible Alginate Overproduction by Growth of Pseudomonas aeruginosa on PIAAMV. Journal of Bacteriology 195:4020-4036. PMID 23794622

  • PIAAMV is a growth medium that I developed which activates alginate overproduction and several other cystic fibrosis-relevant phenotypes.  Here is this study, we determined all of the genes required for alginate production on PIAAMV.  We next analyzed the transcriptional response due to growth on PIAAMV.  And third, we observed that growth on PIAAMV attenuates P. aeruginosa in a mouse acute pneumonia model of infection.  And finally, we observed the mice immunized with P. aeruginosa grown on PIAAMV are protected from future infections, indicating PIAAMV may be useful as a novel attenuated live vaccine strategy.     
  • Cover art: An image from this work was selected from this publication and featured on the cover of the Journal of Bacteriology in August 2013
  • 7th Most-Read article in Journal of Bacteriology in the month of September 2013

12.  M. Barbier, J. P. Owings, I. Martinez-Ramos, F. H. Damron, R. Gomila, J. Blazquez, J. B. Goldberg, and S. Alberti. 2013. Lysine Trimethylation of EF-Tu Mimics Platelet-Activating Factor To Initiate Pseudomonas aeruginosa Pneumonia. MBio 4. PMID 23653444

  • This publication describes a novel post-translational modification that is involved in colonization and virulence of P. aeruginosa.

11.  F. H. Damron, E. S. McKenney, M. Barbier, G. W. Liechti, H. P. Schweizer, and J. B. Goldberg. 2013. Construction of Mobilizable Mini-Tn7 Vectors for Bioluminescent Detection of Gram-Negative Bacteria and Single-Copy Promoter lux Reporter Analysis. Applied Environmental Microbiology 79:4149-53. PMID 23584769

  • In this work, several new vectors are described for bioluminescent tagging via the mini-Tn7 system.
  • Cover art: An image from this work was featured on the cover of AEM in July 2013.

10.  T.R. Withers, F. H. Damron, Y. Yin, H. Yu.  Truncation of type IV pilin induces mucoidy in Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PAO579. 2013.  Microbiology Open 2:459-70. PMID 23533140

  • Whole genome sequencing of strain PAO579 revealed mutations in pilin can cause activation of AlgW proteolysis and alginate overproduction.

9.  F. H. Damron, E. McKenney, H. P. Schweizer, J.B. Goldberg. 2013. Construction of a Broad-Host-Range Tn7-Based Vector for Single-Copy PBAD-Controlled Gene Expression in Gram-Negative Bacteria. Applied Environmental Microbiology 79: 718-721. PMID 23124231

  • In this work a new vector (pTJ1 named for Thomas Jefferson) was constructed which integrates genes into the chromosome under the control of the arabinose inducible promoter PBAD

8.  F. H. Damron and J. B. Goldberg. 2012. Proteolytic regulation of alginate overproduction in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Molecular Microbiology 84:595-607.  PMID 22497280

  • This review describes the current state of knowledge in the field.

7.  F. H. Damron, J. P. Owings, Y. Okkotsu, J. J. Varga, J. R. Schurr, J. B. Goldberg, M. J. Schurr and H. D. Yu. 2012. Analysis of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa Regulon Controlled by the Sensor Kinase KinB and Sigma Factor RpoN. Journal of Bacteriology 194: 1317-1330. PMID 22210761

  • 20th Most-Read article in Journal of Bacteriology in the month of March 2012
  • Microarray analysis, proteomics, phenotypic analysis, and an acute pneumonia model were used to show that the sensor kinase KinB is not only a regulator of the exopolysaccharide alginate, but also directly controls virulence of the bacterium.

6.  J. Rao*, F. H. Damron*, M. Basler,  A. DiGiandomenico, N. E. Sherman, J.W. Fox, J. Mekalanos, and J. B. Goldberg. 2011. Proteomic analysis of nonmucoid and mucoid Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical isolates from a cystic fibrosis patient. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology. 2: 162 *J.R. and F.H.D contributed equally to this publication. PMID 21863142

  • Highlighted in editorial:  Frank, D., Research topic on Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Biology, Genetics, and Host-Pathogen Interactions. Frontiers in Microbiology. PMID 22347214
  • Multiple proteomic approaches were compared to describe the key differences in two cystic fibrosis isolates.

5.  F. H. Damron, M. R. Davis Jr., T. R. Withers, R. K. Ernst, J. B. Goldberg, G. Yu, and H. D. Yu. 2011. Vanadate and triclosan synergistically induce alginate overproduction by Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PAO1.  Molecular Microbiology. 81: 554-570. PMID 21631603

  • Cystic Fibrosis – Study Findings from F.H. Damron et al. Broaden Understanding of Cystic FibrosisLife Science Weekly
  • This publication laid the foundation for most of my current research and best exemplifies my postdoctoral studies.  In this work, a novel medium was formulated which activates multiple phenotypes that are currently observed in cystic fibrosis isolates.  The medium, PIAAMV, induces alginate overproduction mimicking the stress responses that P. aeruginosa activates for survival in the lung.

4.  F. H. Damron and H.D. Yu. 2011. Pseudomonas aeruginosa MucD regulates alginate pathway through activation of MucA degradation via MucP proteolytic activity. Journal of Bacteriology. 193, 286-291. PMID 21036998

  • Typically regulated proteolysis of MucA by protease AlgW is the initial proteolytic event leading to alginate overproduction.  However, here an exception to that dogma was observed where protease MucP could directly activate proteolysis. 

3.  F. H. Damron, J.Napper, M.A. Teter and H.D. Yu.  2009. Lipotoxin F of Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an AlgU-dependent and alginate-independent outer membrane protein involved in resistance to oxidative stress and adhesion to A549 human lung epithelia Microbiology 155, 1028 – 1038.  PMID 19332805

  • Activation of alginate overproduction causes expression of co-regulated factors.  LptF is highly up-regulated in mucoid and cystic fibrosis strains and provides the bacterium with several advantageous phenotypes.

2.  F. H. Damron, D. Qiu and H.D. Yu. 2009. The Pseudomonas aeruginosa sensor kinase KinB negatively controls alginate production through AlgW-dependent MucA proteolysis. Journal of Bacteriology 191, 2285-2295. PMID 19168621

  • This publication is the key work of my Ph.D. research.  KinB is a sensor kinase that regulates alginate overproduction.  In the absence of kinB, regulated proteolysis of MucA occurs.  It is possible that KinB senses environmental conditions and activates alginate overproduction through AlgB and RpoN transcription factors.

1.  D. Qiu*, F. H. Damron*, T.Mima, H.P. Schweizer, H.D. Yu. 2008. PBAD-Based shuttle vectors for functional analysis of toxic and highly regulated genes in Pseudomonas and Burkholderia spp. and other bacteria.  Applied Environmental Microbiology. 74:7422-7426.* D.Q. and F.H.D contributed equally to this publication.  PMID 18849445  

  • In this publication, we described the construction of multi-copy vectors for gene expression.  Currently these vectors are being utilized in many laboratories for numerous applications.  Link to Google Scholar citations.

Research Support

Ongoing Research Support:

IVY Foundation Biomedical Innovation Fund Grant, Damron (Co-Investigator), Wu (PI), Glomski, 01/2013-12/31/2013.

Completed Research Support:

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, Damron (PI), 07/2010-7/31/2013

Honors

2006-2008 West Virginia Space Grant Consortium Pre-doctoral Fellowship “λ-RED recombineering in Pseudomonas aeruginosa
2006-2009 NASA Graduate Student Research Program Pre-doctoral Fellowship “Genetic Analysis of Radiation Effect on DNA Repair Mechanisms in Pseudomonas aeruginosa”
2007 Marshall University Biomedical Sciences Best Research Performance
2007 Travel Grant for the 4th Mid-Atlantic Microbial Pathogenesis Meeting
2009 Travel Grant for the 5th Mid-Atlantic Microbial Pathogenesis Meeting
2009 Marshall University Biomedical Sciences Best Overall Research Performance
2010-2013 Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship “RpoE-dependent virulence of Burkholderia cenocepacia strain J2315”
2011 Postdoctoral Travel Grant to the 6th Mid-Atlantic Microbial Pathogenesis Meeting
2012 Travel Grant for the NIH NIGMS Postdoc Transition to Independence Workshop
2012 Nomination by Trinity College Dublin for the President of Ireland Young Researchers Award – to recruit of promising early career scientists to Ireland
2013-2014 IVY Foundation Biomedical Innovation Fund Grant. Developing Micavibrio aeruginosavorus as a living antibiotic.
2013 Travel Grant for the 11th Annual National Postdoctoral Association Meeting
2013 Travel Grant from the Microbiology department Postdoctoral Association

Professional Societies

2004-present Member, American Society for Microbiology
2012-2013 Member, American Heart Association
2012-present Member, National Postdoctoral Association

Patents

2008 H. D. Yu, F. H. Damron, and D. Qiu. 2008. Methods for producing bacterial alginates, pending U.S. patent (application No. 61/048,858) filed on April 29, 2008
2011 H.D. Yu and F.H. Damron. 2011.  Methods and compositions for producing alginate and for detection of virulent bacterial strains, pending U.S. patent filed on March 30, 2011

 Invited Seminars

2013 CEA, Bacterial Pathogenesis and Responses Team, Grenoble, France
2013 Bluefield State College,  Bluefield, WV
2013 Mid-Atlantic Microbial Pathogenesis Meeting, Wintergreen Resort, Wintergreen, VA
2012 University of Colorado, School of Medicine, Denver, Colorado
2012 Trinity College Dublin,  Dublin, Ireland
2012 Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Blacksburg, VA
2011 Mid-Atlantic Microbial Pathogenesis Meeting, Wintergreen Resort, Wintergreen, VA
2008 Concord College, Athens, WV
2008 Mountain State University, Beckley, WV
2006 Bluefield State College, Bluefield, WV

Editorial Service

2011- Ad hoc reviewer, Letters in Applied Microbiology
2012- Ad hoc reviewer, BMC Systems Biology
2012- Ad hoc reviewer, Applied and Environmental Microbiology
2013- Ad hoc reviewer, PLOS ONE
2013- Editor of Journal of Postdoctoral Research

Service

2011-2013 Founding President of University of Virginia Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology Post Doctoral Association
2013 Co-organizer of the 1st Annual University of Virginia Postdoc Research Symposium